Alissa Johnson’s A TALENT FOR TRICKERY is Book 1 in her latest, The Thief Taker’s series. This promises to be an excellent series if the rest hold true to Book 1.  I’m looking forward to book 2.

Years ago, Owen Renderwell earned acclaim-and a title-for the dashing rescue of a kidnapped duchess. But only a select few knew that Scotland Yard’s most famous detective was working alongside London’s most infamous thief…and his criminally brilliant daughter, Charlotte Walker.

Lottie was like no other woman in Victorian England. She challenged him. She dazzled him. She questioned everything he believed and everything he was, and he has never wanted anyone more. And then he lost her.

Now a private detective on the trail of a murderer, Owen has stormed back into Lottie’s life. She knows that no matter what they may pretend, he will always be a man of the law and she a criminal. Yet whenever he’s near, Owen has a way of making things complicated…and long for a future that can never be theirs. (Synopsis from Amazon)

This all adds up to The Thief Taker series being an auto read for me

A TALENT FOR TRICKERY is a historical romance wrapped up in a mystery/suspense. Several art robberies and the murder of a former friend of Lottie’s father, all crimes with an encrypted message left behind, bring Owen back into Lottie’s life after eight years. He needs her help to break the encryption and find a killer.

Lottie and Owen indeed have a past, just not a romantic one. This isn’t your typical second chance romance due to the fact that one, the other, or both screwed it up the first time. A TALENT FOR TRICKERY is a second chance for Lottie and Owen to finally admit their feelings to themselves and each other, feelings that still endure after eight years of separation. Despite the extensive past the characters share, the reader never feels they’re coming in belatedly. There’s no sense of loss or missing out on large pieces of the story.  In this case, the past history adds richness and depth to the story and characters.

The lively, yet more mature, slow boil, romance between Lottie and Owen suits their characters to a tee.

The secondary characters are as vivid as the hero and heroine, easily holding their own and hopefully foreshadowing coming installments in the series. The dialog is witty, humorous, and intelligent.

All aspects of A TALENT FOR TRICKERY are perfectly balanced and the character development, dialog, and pacing are wonderful. This all adds up to The Thief Taker series being an auto read for me. Fingers crossed the next book focuses on Samuel and Esther.

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About the Reviewer

Ivy Truitt
Transplanted Southerner and avid reader. My tastes are eclectic. I discovered mysteries first then historicals in the era of Kathleen Woodiwiss & Rosemary Rogers. I was never able to finish Gone With the Wind, Scarlett got on my nerves too bad, but I loved Alaina in Ashes in the Wind. I also manage the guest author blog for Manic Readers. In addition to here you can find me on FB, Twitter, Goodreads, Librarything, & Riffle. Always up for talking about books, just gimme a holler!!